Some local residents have likely experienced discoloured water from the taps.
“Due to elevated iron content water colour might be yellowish,” said Mahabub Zaman, director of engineering services in an email. “At this time of the year iron content is slightly higher which does not pose a health risk. It might be an aesthetic concern.”
He said the affected areas are sporadic. Residents and users downtown, in the southeast and the west end west of 24th Avenue Southwest of the city are most likely to be affected. The city recently released a public service announcement explaining the situation and asking residents for patience as the department works to resolve the issue.
The release said the problem came from the need to increase alum usage in the water treatment process because the source water has high algae levels.
“In order to treat this source water the alum dose has been increased in the treatment process, which has resulted in slightly lower pH value in treated water,” said Zaman. “This slightly low pH value has some sort of chemical reaction with aged cast iron water mains.”
For more information, see an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.